Go figure–Stephen King actually likes the new Firestarter reboot.
Bucking popular opinion (and a rash of negative reviews), the horror master said he thinks the Firestarter remake that opened in theaters this weekend is superior–in some ways–to the 1984 big-screen adaptation of his 1980 bestseller.
King–who has frequently criticized film versions of his stories–said he favored Zac Efron’s take on Andy McGee (Charlie’s father) over the way David Keith portrayed the character in the first film.
“I think Efron wins that battle because he seems a lot more intelligent,” King told Vanity Fair, “and he does a lot less lying to the kid. I think Zac Efron did a wonderful job. It’s a very grown-up part and he pulled it off.”
In addition, King approved of the positive way Andy used his ability to “push” or influence people. “In this movie,” the author said, “Andy becomes a kind of a counselor, and tries to talk people out of their bad habits. He does it by ‘pushing’ them. There’s a woman who’s a smoker, and he’s talking her out of it. That was a good turn on him.”
King also liked the overall tone of the screenplay and one casting choice, in particular. “I read the script beforehand,” he said, “and I thought what they’ve done here is concentrated the story and made it a family story. And I love that. They’ve kept the major beats in the story.”
And, King added, “Thank God they got a real Native American (Michael Greyeyes) to play John Rainbird. That was a step in the right direction. There’s a lot more authenticity to that performance. It’s an inward, powerful performance.”
Firestarter–directed by Keith Thomas from a screenplay by Scott Teems–also stars Ryan Kiera Armstrong, Sydney Lemmon, Kurtwood Smith, John Beasley and Gloria Reuben.
The storyline follows a girl with “extraordinary pyrokinetic powers as she fights to protect her family and herself from sinister forces that seek to capture and control her,” according to the synopsis. The film is now playing in theaters and on Peacock.
Keep reading Horror News Network for the latest on this reboot of Firestarter.